Thursday, February 4, 2010

Raw Unity Meet Recap

Again, it’s been awhile. Not on purpose, I guess I just don’t feel like my life or training has been that exciting.

But, recently I have been blessed with a little excitement. Monday, I returned from Tampa, FL from the Raw Unity Meet. This was the 3rd annual meeting of the event and was my first time to compete or attend.

I had been invited to be a part of the Power To The People deadlift team sometime last year by The Chief himself. I proudly accepted and looked forward to the date of the meet. I had over 6 months to prepare and had just finished a meet in which I set an American Record Deadlift in my weight class and age group (551 @ 179 bodyweight).

I had heard of the Raw Unity Meet previously because of the names that lifted there. So I was really excited to get to go…not only to just be there, but to compete as well.

Here’s the recap:

I spent around 12 weeks prepping for this meet. I knew I was only doing the deadlift, so I didn’t have to get fancy with my training.

I wanted to do the full powerlifting portion, but I bombed out of Unequipped Nationals in October and didn’t have a high enough total to qualify my entry. So I was just happy to go and pull a big deadlift.

I came into the meet much lighter than normal for the 181 lb class that I’ve been competing in. I usually weigh in the mid-190’s in training and cut down 2-3 days before weigh-in. Due to a horrible case of food poisoning on New Year’s Eve, I lost around 15 pounds and never really put the weight back on. The downside is I could’ve lost strength, the upside is I didn’t have to worry about cutting to make weight.

I ate supper the night before weigh ins around 6pm and began to fast and dehydrate at 185. By 10am the next morning I was 177. Then I began to replenish fluids and food and got back up to 185 the next morning before I lifted.

I woke up early to get some breakfast as I was scheduled to lift at 9am. The first shuttle to the meet venue left at 8am which gave me around 30-40 minutes to warm up.

Warm ups went really well and I was pleased at how I timed it up to my first attempt.

First attempt was 534. I don’t know if was nerves or what, but the weight moved slow for me. I was nervous to pick my next weight which I knew needed to be a big jump if I was going to go for 600 on my 3rd. I chose 260kg or 573 which was an all-time PR attempt for me and the biggest weight lifted per body weight I’ve ever tried. 3.24x

Second attempt at 573 flew up and nailed the lockout no problem. I got red lighted by the head judge for an unknown reason, but I didn’t care. 2/3 Good lift.

So I go to the scorers table knowing I have 10-15 more pounds in me, but not sure if I could squeeze out a full 27 lb jump to 600. I figured I’m here now, so lets do it and put down 272.5kg or 600 lbs.

I’m not sure if my mental prep was dialed in or what, but in retrospect I feel like I approached the lift completely different than what I’m used to. I even approached the bar differently. Probably nothing anyone would’ve noticed, but if you’ve ever deadlifted heavy, you know it’s very methodical and repetitious. Every attempt needs to be the same, from the prep, to the approach to the lift.

Anyway, I guess they turned the magnets on, because the bar felt like it was glued to the floor. No lift.

After my flight was over, I was pretty sure I didn’t get last place, but wasn’t sure where I stood either. I was just flying high from the PR and trying to figure out what went wrong with the 600 attempt.

I watched Flight B which was the Heavy Weights (198 and above) and saw some amazing pulls. 728 @ 213 comes to mind.

Then the medal ceremony began and they asked all of the Light Weights to come up to the podium. The scoring was done by Wilkes Formula which is a calculation that normalizes or equalizes a lifting competition across multiple weight classes.

They announced the 3rd place winner which is fellow RKC Ellen Stein of New York…the only female in the Deadlift Only Competition. Then they announced the weight lifted for the 2nd place winner and it was 260kg. Wait a minute! That’s what I lifted? Then my name was called! I was shocked!

So at the end of the day, I pulled an all-time PR, a best pound-for-pound all-time deadlift for myself…AND was awarded 2nd place for the effort!

The meet was very well run and had a crazy-strong list of competitors. A real Who’s Who of the powerlifting world. Not to mention that I got to meet Tony Conyers and Matt “Kroc” Kroczaleski.

What an awesome trip! It definitely made up for the meet I bombed out in October and kept my powerlifting fire alive!

I’m looking to take a break from the heavy stuff for a little while. I’m attending the Level II RKC cert in San Jose at the end of February as an assistant instructor. I need to get all my RKC skills dialed in and I might try my hand at The Beast Tamer Challenge if my training goes well this month.

So that’s my Raw Unity Meet recap. All in all it was a great trip, great meet and I’m looking forward to figuring how I can pick up 600 pounds off the ground.

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